The relief prevails at Kiki Bertens camp after the difficult decision not to participate in the US Open. The Westland is not traveling to the United States this month due to the corona pandemic and is preparing for the clay court season in Europe, with the main goal being Roland Garros.
"We talked a lot about the US Open and in our opinion went back and forth a bit," Bertens' coach Elise Tamaëla told NU.nl on Friday. "Because of the uncertainty, we also did not know whether we had to train on hard court or clay court. It gives a nice feeling that the decision has been made."
Bertens' participation in the US Open has been questionable for some time because of the worrying situation in the United States, which has been severely affected by the corona virus. The number seven in the world feared having to be quarantined upon return, which was confirmed on Thursday by the press conference of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge.
"That press conference was decisive for us. If Kiki is not allowed to do anything for two weeks when she returns, then she would not be able to prepare well for the clay courts. And there are more opportunities for her," said Tamaëla, who is not surprised that the US Open continues despite criticism.
"There is too much money involved. You hope somewhere that the organization puts the interests of the players first, but that never happens. I expect more cancellations in the coming period. In this way it is not really a Grand Slam tournament more. "
Kiki Bertens and coach Elise Tamaëla have tied the knot about the US Open. (Photo: Pro Shots)
'Have no doubts about Roland Garros now'
28-year-old Bertens not only skips the US Open, but in two weeks will of course also not participate in the prestigious tournament of Cincinnati, which she won in 2018. The Westland expects to be able to participate in the clay tournament of Rome and Roland Garros in September.
"We have no doubts about Roland Garros at the moment," emphasizes Tamaëla. "The situation is still good and hopefully it will be the same in six weeks. We can also just go to Paris by car, so that makes a difference."
That the last WTA match of Bertens still dates from February is not a disaster, according to her coach. "Kiki is of course not completely fit now, but we will plan some practice matches in the run-up to Rome. It is now a matter of building up and it will be all right."
Initially, Bertens would also participate in the Madrid tournament on September 14, but that was canceled because of the corona pandemic. Rome's WTA tournament kicks off on September 21, a week before Roland Garros.
See also: Bertens opts out of US Open because of corona measures